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Business BTEC - How do I get them working

Discussion in 'Business studies' started by MrLock, May 2, 2011.

  1. So I'm an experienced teacher, though I only taught Business for the first time this year, as a new course. I usually teach Maths, and I'm finding BTEC particularly challenging.
    In particular, I've written assignment briefs which I think are engaging. I've allowed them to hand in work online; I've fed back on everything I've had handed in... but the issue is
    They just have to complete stuff!!
    What I mean is, I usually break down lessons into very small chunks... complete these three questions, model this, discuss that, and so on. To meet the criteria in Business, the students simply have to complete large chunks of work, and I can't keep their attention for that long. Longer than 20 minutes seems like an age to 14 year olds and so there is no sense of urgency, and yet I don't feel like I can chunk down the assignments any more than I have. I feel like I'm spoon-feeding too much already (and it's literally impossible to do that for all 30 students), so there are few students who have met all the pass criteria for the assignments we've done already.
    Now a little bit of this is because I wasn't as familiar as I could have been with the spec; one or two assignments have changed as we've gone along, and I will be better at this second time around, but at the same time, with this group I don't have the sense of purpose I would expect with a group I've taught for two terms.
    I teach them 2 out of 3 lessons a week due to timetabling constraints. This clearly is part of the issue, but I'm not after excuses - I'm after help and solutions.
    The main issue is, how do I motivate a good 20 of the students to actually sit down and complete work. I can find interesting exciting lessons that are not didactic - they lap that up - but the actual written work is difficult to get them to do.
  2. True.
    Harder to integrate 'Variety, pace and challenge', as my old Head used to intone.
  3. Break down into theory and practical (but make the theory relevant)
    use technology. Do a TV programme, radio blog etc rather than written evidence!

    remember the spec is the bare minimum. Go beyond the spec if it helps make the tasks more engaging.
    Similarly think about projects, write assignments that cover criteria from different units
  4. I use red, green chart with each or the criteria on projector in every lesson so pupils see exactly what left to do each lesson, seems to motivate them to try and finish as dont want reds, especially seems to work with the boys, and is a good way for me to keep track as well.
    Hope this helps.

  5. So glad I do not teach BTEC anymore!
    Spoon feeding kids work isnt much fun at all.
    The teacher does all the work in most cases (not all) and some students do no work independently themselves yet gain a qualification because SMT instruct you to do anything possible to get them through. I hated teaching BTEC as the staff were forced to literally write half of the assignments ourselves.
    Found it very stressfull and not a worthy qualification compared to GCSE and A-Levels. I am not saying I am 100% correct but thats just my view.
    Admittedley some students really benefit from BTEC courses but I feel this is in the minority.
  6. I also use this system, I borrowed it from the ICT departments I did my TP in.
    If you use a spreadsheet it works really well as you can print it the students individual work and send it home/email it to parents if there are concerns or a parents evening. I add comments if needed and I use it to set student specific lesson targets that are also displayed on the board and the target can be kept on a separate sheet for future reference (recently very useful to show parents/SLT how slowly a certain student was working, esp' compared to other less able students).
    When it comes to marking work, you can keep all grades on the one S/Sheet, including targets etc and simply switch between the tabs.
    BTW, I find it works well with the (few) girls I have in my class.
    Also another tip, don't tell them if it's a Pass, Merit or Distinction level piece of work. My yr 9's do much better when I simply give them as task rather than say it's coursework.
    The previous years were given the assignment and told to work through it which I found very demoralising. In the end I had to delete certain questions for my weakest student in both yr 10 and yr 11 It made it easier for the parents as they knew what the students had to focus to get their Pass grade when I emailed to work home to them.

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